Losing your eyesight may inhibit you from being able to perform the duties of your job. Visual disorders can affect various components of your visual sense, including the optic nerve, optic tracts, communication between your brain and your visual fields, or the eye itself. When you can no longer see details, read, or do certain types of work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
In the Social Security Blue Book of disability listings, sections 216(i)(1) and 1614(a)(2) categorize statutory blindness in two different ways:
- Your visual acuity must be 20/200 or less. This is determined by using the eyesight score in the eye with the best-corrected vision.
- Your visual field limitation subtends at an angle greater than 20 degrees. If the widest diameter of your eyesight has less than a 20-degree angle, you may be considered to have less than 20/200 vision.
The laws defining blindness are detailed and complex. In order to determine if you have statutory blindness and are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must submit evidence. The following are a few things to consider when gathering evidence to show how your blindness qualifies you.
- Evidence that your visual acuity is 20/200 or less
- Measurements for the eye with the best vision
- No documentation is necessary for the cause of your blindness
- No documentation is required for the duration of your blindness
Under the law, the only documentation that you must show is the medical records from your vision exam. This means that the reason you became visually impaired, or the length of time that you have lived with blindness do not have an impact on whether you will receive Social Security benefits.
If your blindness has caused you to lose work or valuable income, it is a good idea to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Massachusetts disability attorney guidance can help you navigate the process of applying for these benefits giving you the best chance at being approved. Contact Keefe Disability Law toll-free at 888-904-6847 to start the process and to request a FREE copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery—The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process.